Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

There are two matchups in the NHL on Saturday and Yahoo has a single-game contest for each, in which you're not position-restricted and simply select five players. The Oilers host the Canucks in a meaningless afternoon matchup, and the playoffs begin in the evening tilt with the Capitals a small home underdog against Bruins. Here are a handful of picks and pans from the player pools of both contests.

All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.

Picks

Alex Ovechkin, WAS vs. BOS ($34): No. 8 returned for the season finale to prove his health, and he registered four shots on nine attempts. In a shallow player pool, Ovechkin's shot volume provides a high floor, and he ranked seventh in goals and first in shot attempts per 60 minutes in the league this season. 

Mikko Koskinen, EDM vs. VAN ($30): The Canucks have only won twice in their past 11 games and have scored just 23 goals. Interestingly, six of those tallies came in a 6-3 win against Edmonton that Koskinen started. Look for a tidier showing here, as the backup netminder might have more motivation than any player on the ice with this potentially his last start of the season.

Vitek Vanecek, WAS vs. BOS ($29): While there are some injury question marks surrounding the Capitals, it's still surprising to see them home underdogs in Game 1. The Bruins have scored a middle-of-the-road 3.09 goals per game this season, but their 8.86 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five rank fourth last in the league. Additionally, even if Boston rested the majority of its veterans Tuesday, Vanecek still stopped 24 of 25 shots in winning fashion against the Bruins.

John Carlson, WAS vs. BOS ($22): This is a manageable salary for Carlson. He's locked into an offensive role, quarterbacks the No. 1 power-play unit and ranks third in points per 60 minutes among all regular blueliners this season.  

Brock Boeser, VAN at EDM ($17): Another reasonable salary, Boeser has only scored three goals on 30 shots through his past 11 games, as the expected shooting percentage regression has hit. He's now down to a 16.0 percent mark for the campaign. Still, his shot volume provides a respectable fantasy floor, and the jury's still out on how engaged the Oilers will be in Saturday's contest.

Craig Smith, BOS at WAS ($17): The first-year Bruin ranks 21st in shot attempts per 60 minutes this season and has registered 20 shots through his past six games. However, aside from his hat trick on May 1, Smith hasn't scored a goal since April 15. There's probably some statistical correction ahead, especially considering he's playing with two excellent passers in David Krejci and Taylor Hall.

Tom Wilson, WAS vs. BOS ($15): Time in the box has cut into Wilson's production of late, as he's racked up 27 PIM through the past four games and hasn't marked the scoresheet. However, his salary is down as a result. Wilson's also got oodles of playoff experience, including registering 23 points through 36 games over the past three years. 

James Neal, EDM vs. VAN ($11): While the veteran has tumbled down the depth chart, Neal's salary reflects his role, and he's sporting a modest three-game point streak. He's receiving power-play minutes with the second unit, and he's also registered 10 shots on 14 attempts through the past four games.

Pans

Tuukka Rask, BOS at WAS ($37): A road start against the Capitals should be considered a tough matchup. Rask also sports an underwhelming .905 save percentage through three starts against Washington this season, and he sports a contest-high salary. 

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, EDM vs. VAN ($36/$34): It's tough to know if McDavid and Draisaitl will be going through the motions or fully motivated in Saturday's playoff tuneup. Obviously, both are high-end fantasy contributors with contest-winning upside, so perhaps this is more a warning than recommendation to fade. After all, McDavid and Draisaitl have seven consecutive multi-point games.

Bo Horvat, VAN at EDM ($18): As noted, Edmonton's complete level is definitely uncertain Saturday. However, Horvat is almost certainly set to line up opposite McDavid and/or Draisaitl most of the afternoon. It's a daunting on-ice matchup, and Horvat has recorded just four points with a minus-6 rating through his past 11 games.

Charlie McAvoy, BOS at WAS ($18): It could be wise to take a wait-and-see approach on McAvoy in what projects to be a grueling and physical series. It's likely he plays most of his five-on-five matchups against Ovechkin, and McAvoy hasn't been quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit recently, which is another hit to his value.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Neil Parker plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: naparker77, DraftKings: naparker77.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Parker
A loyal Cubs, Cowboys and Maple Leafs fan for decades, Neil has contributed to RotoWire since 2014. He previously worked for USA Today Fantasy Sports.
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